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Three to the Right

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“Three to the right, eight to the left.”

Inside Professor Geraldine Ormston’s office, Jo Grant was crouched behind a handsome, Victorian desk. The only source of light in the room came from a small pen torch Jo held. Jo shone the torch on to the dial of a safe, so she could see the numbers, as she worked at cracking its code. In front of the door to the office, The Doctor was standing with his back to Jo. The door was open very slightly and the Doctor was keeping watch through this gap, out on to the corridor. They were in Professor Ormston’s office because they were attempting to steal the Professor’s formula for a deadly chemical cocktail, which if injected through the skin would reduce a human to a puddle of green slime. She was planning to sell her chemical weapon to the highest bidder. By stealing the formula, the Doctor thought he could make a vaccine that would make the solution harmless to humans.

“Six right, two left, there!” said Jo, in a triumphant whisper.

“Well done, Jo,” said the Doctor, softly, over his shoulder.

“Oh!” said Jo, in surprise, on seeing what the safe contained. “You’ll have to carry the formula for me, Doctor.”

“Very well.” The Doctor hadn’t thought the formula would have been in a folder too heavy for Jo to carry. They didn’t have time to go through all the contents of the safe, to search out the pieces of paper with the relevant formula on, so the Doctor squared his shoulders to ready himself for a great weight. He heard Jo lightly pad across the room and tap him on the back. The Doctor turned around and Jo pressed into his hands, not a folder, but something he couldn’t see properly. From the feel of the item it was made of wood and glass.

“This can’t be the Professor’s formula. Is that all there was in her safe?” asked the Doctor.

“My torch’s beam may be small, but so is the inside of the safe. Remember what the Brigadier said to you?”

The Doctor was puzzled. “What did he say?”

“That I’d fulfil the function of passing you your test tubes admirably,” said Jo, with a grin.

Turning towards the gap in the door, the Doctor saw that he held a row of test tubes in a wooden stand.

Jo took her torch out again and shined it on the stand. “Look, as well as leaving us samples of the ingredients, she’s put how much of each chemical needs to be added on labels, on the test tubes. I bet she used to devise those cake in a bag sets from the supermarket.”

“She may well have done, Jo. Let’s hope they don’t break under my jacket on the way out.”

“I’d better link my arm through the one on your test tube side, I wouldn’t want any guards to see you walk pass and wonder about any unsightly bulges,” said Jo, cheekily.

The Doctor smiled and mock tutted at her.